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Check Out How Pornography Can Ruin Your Life

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A couple of years ago, I stumbled across some research and articles about pornography and the negative effects it could be having on men and their sex lives. I found it interesting, but never gave it too much thought after that. Then sometime last year I stumbled across this video:

 

It caught my attention because not only had I struggled with sexual anxiety and bouts of being unable to perform in the past, but I had also talked to a lot of men who struggled with the same issues, men often in their 20s and 30s, men who shouldn’ t have been dealing with performance issues.

Then after some research, I found a survey by Esquire that showed that 43% of men reported difficulty getting or maintaining an erection at least some of the time, with 24% reporting that they had difficulty ” more often than I’ d like to admit. ”

THE DANGERS OF PORN

According to the science, porn is a ” supranormal” stimulus— it activates the normal reward mechanisms in our brains, but it does so at such a high level that we perceive it to be way more pleasurable than the average arousing stimulus. 1

But our brains become desensitized and develop a need for even more novel stimuli in order to reach the same level of arousal and excitement. 2 Thus begins the spiral into more hardcore porn and higher quantities of it.

In some cases, men can develop a psychological addiction to pornography and it can begin to interfere with their sex and social lives. In rare cases, it can be debilitating in both.

Porn addiction has been found to result in anxiety, 3 lower self- esteem and diminished identity, 4 as well as feeling more isolated5 for the male addict. Not only this, it produces many of the same negative effects for their female partner and can lead to the latter suffering from feelings of shame and inadequacy. 6, 7

Apart from the impact on the individual, porn addiction can lead to sexual problems in a relationship, a deterioration of trust and safety, a perception of rejection as well as a fundamental change in how the women view their addicted partner, from ” good” to ” inherently bad. ” 8

Researchers debate whether or not porn addiction is a real addiction, but there is evidence suggesting porn addiction leads to structural changes in the brain9 and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. 10, 11

The debate remains unresolved, but the semantics don’ t change the fact that many people experience real problems with porn. It’ s been implicated in things like unhappy and unsatisfied partners, 12 as well as depression, anxiety, and loneliness. 13 It has even been shown to weaken commitment in a romantic relationship14 and lead to fooling around outside it. 15

More alarming consequences include decreased sexual satisfaction in adolescents, 16 the group you’ d expect to be most ravished by the newfound joys of sex. Even more worrying is research has found a significant link between porn use and support for violence against women17 and sexually aggressive behaviors in men.

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